An easy, but sublimely tasty whole chicken dish that basically cooks itself, making it perfect for a mid-week meal or an easy weekend option when you’re busy. Serve with rice or creamy mashed potatoes.
How long will it take?
1 ¼ hours
What’s the serving size?
What do I need?
2 kg whole chicken
½ tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 tbsp olive oil
1 large lemon, cut into thick slices
1 red onion, cut into large dice
100 g pitted dates
5 sprigs fresh oregano, plus extra for garnish
400 ml water
½ tsp cayenne pepper
How do I make it?
Preheat oven to 200C.
Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
Heat a large cast iron pot over medium-high heat. Add half the olive oil to the pan and, when hot, sear the chicken on all sides until golden. Remove the chicken and set aside. Add the lemon and red onion to the pan and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes.
Add the dates and oregano and cook for another 2 minutes, before placing the chicken into the pan sitting on top of the lemon slices. Add the water to the dish and sprinkle cayenne pepper over the chicken. Cook in the oven, covered, for 30 minutes.
Pour the remaining olive oil over the chicken and return to the oven, uncovered, for an additional 30 minutes or until the chicken is golden brown and cooked through.
Allow the chicken to rest for 10 minutes before carving. Serve chicken and sauce garnished with oregano.
Video & photography by David Pyefinch, food by Sarah Joseph